Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Road to Shambhala

Yes, I love Three Dog Night. And I love this song, used to great effect at the beginning of the film, Drowning Mona:

So, it only makes sense that as I'm continuing on my beading spiritual journey that I whip up a few of these wonderful beaded mandalas, and then turn them into a necklace... Right?

 I decided to add a little pop of texture into the center of each mandala with a yummy gumdrop bead. And I chose the colors (pink and yellow) to symbolize both hope and love.

While the overall design of this piece is quite dramatic in shape and form, because each of these is backed with a lightweight and flexible piece of plastic milk jug (ha ha ha!), the necklace is most definitely comfortable and wearable.

Stitching these little mandalas was how I took my breaks during the last few weeks. Any time I felt overwhelmed with worry, I just sat down to my little stack of pink squares, cut out from a large sheet of Nicole's Beadbacking, stitched down a gumdrop, and went on my merry way.

The fringe was fun, and a challenge. I decided that the mandalas needed a little something extra to enhance their shape. I used a super-long piece of beading thread - probably about twenty feet - and did them all in one continuous loop, weaving back and forth between mandalas. Because, you know, I HATE weaving in thread ends more than I hate removing knots from my beading thread.

I designed the fringe with the necklace on a bust so that I could get an idea of what it would look like in "real time". Lately, I find that designing fringe is much easier for me if I can see what it will look like when worn, so my necklace bust has become my new best friend for designing.

The connections were fun to figure out, too. Now that I've completed this piece, I want to move on to the other colors of gumdrops that I have and see how else they can be connected, embellished, etc.

Can you tell I'm having fun with these beads? Throwing myself back into my beads, and into my yoga, have been the two things that have saved me these last few months. Slowly, slowly, I'm starting to feel like myself again. I have good days and bad days, yes, but it's starting to feel like the good days are outnumbering the bad days.


SaraBeth said...

Such a happy necklace! Have you started another one yet?

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

The dangles made all the difference in this piece. Great job.

Tina Holden said...

Am really attracted to this necklace, great design Jen!